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MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday announced an $8 million legal aid grant to support Wisconsinites who need legal assistance to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money, through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will be used to fund civil legal aid organizations statewide and build the Wisconsin Law Help website, a user-friendly online legal assistance portal to help users access accurate legal information.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation Inc. (WisTAF) is receiving the grant. Established in 1986 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, WisTAF is the leading state-based funder of legal aid in Wisconsin. It works with and provides funds to civil legal aid organizations so Wisconsinites with low incomes can access legal services.

“As we recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we create a strong and resilient Wisconsin that works for everyone,” Evers said in a news release. “COVID-19 posed challenges to all of us, but especially underserved and disadvantaged Wisconsinites and the organizations they rely upon, so this support for WisTAF will help reduce barriers to legal assistance for many Wisconsinites seeking to rebuild their lives and livelihoods and get back on their feet.”

The grant will allow WisTAF and its partner organizations to furnish civil legal aid interventions to Wisconsinites who face foreclosure, eviction, and other housing-related problems due to COVID-19; need legal assistance to access unemployment benefits, workforce opportunities, or health coverage; or still struggle with other economic hardships related to the pandemic.

Wisconsin Law Help is a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Legal Assistance Committee and the Wisconsin State Law Library. It is supported by a steering committee that includes organizations from across the state, including LIFTWisconsin, Centro Legal, Northcentral Technical College, University of Wisconsin Law School, Milwaukee Justice Center, Wisconsin Judicare and others.

Other Legal Aid for COVID-19 related Hardships

Wisconsinites who still face housing challenges stemming from the pandemic, including overdue bills like mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities, are also encouraged to explore the Help for Homeowners program. Through this program, eligible homeowners can apply for assistance with mortgage payments, local property taxes, and utilities, as well as housing counseling and legal services. For renters, help is still available through the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance program for overdue rent and utility payments. For updates on other pandemic recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.

Help For Homeowners Program Offers Aid With Taxes, Bills

RACINE AND KENOSHA – Assistance through the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program is available to homeowners who have experienced financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin Help for Homeowners has $92.7 million in federal funds available to assist state residents who have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship since Jan. 21, 2020. Eligible homeowners…

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The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is committed to publishing the most current and accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in our Coronavirus section. View both the Racine County COVID-19 Dashboard and Kenosha County COVID-19 Dashboard offering real-time (updated Monday – Friday) statistical reporting for Racine and Kenosha Counties.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...